Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien February 6, 2018 - 11:13pm

Just finished it.

Starts out strong. Her prose in the early pages is remarkable. She must have worked really hard on those pages, and to great effect. At a certain point, however, the story takes center stage, her sentences just naturally become more normalized, and now it's a book like any other. A somehwat interesting but, for me, ultimately forgettable book with a fair number of flaws. 

Opinions?

Kedzie

Cody Burleson's picture
Cody Burleson February 15, 2018 - 8:46pm

Minor correction. It is "The Girls" by Emma, not Ellen, Cline.

I agree that it starts out strong and that her prose is remarkable. But it did not fizzle out for me. I thought that she held the remarkable quality of her words throughout - surprising me often, in fact, with such an altitude of word craft that made me feel at once, both hopeful for the beauty of the craft, and hopeless in the contrast of my own capability to it.

Personally, for me, this was one of the best books I've ever read. Fair review, but I cannot personally agree. I was held by it - through and through. Loved it.

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien February 16, 2018 - 2:07am

Thanks. I fixed the oversight.

I agree she writes fine prose. And again, the early pages were stunning, filled with a beautiful poetic cadence.

Otherwise, I had a number of issues with the book itself. Not sure they're worth going into. We like what we like, and I'm earnestly glad that you enjoyed it. Lots of other readers did, also.

Having lived through the era, I'm probably a tad fussy about these things. 

Kedzie

 

Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien February 16, 2018 - 3:05am

By the way, if you read the long piece that I posted a few weeks ago in the "Post a Paragraph" thread you'll see that I totally stole the way that she uses the word "mossed." I don't have the book anymore, it's back at the library, so i can't look it up and quote precisely, but she wrote something like: he held a bowl of spaghetti, a layer of parmesean cheese mossed the noodles. Or something like that. Whatever it was, to use mossed in such a manner struck me as brilliant, and certainly theft worthy. Love her writing for it's word play. Perhaps her next novel won't be about the Sixties and I'll be able to enjoy the prose without such a critical eye on the era.

Kedzie